I had a dream the other night that I was moving back into my college dorm room for another year. When I woke up I was sad for just a second that it wasn’t true. I love my life now, but it’s still fun to reminisce about great times in the past. Sometimes I wish I could go back for a day or two and relive my college experience. Of course that would be a day or two with no exams or papers looming. My mind pleasantly blocks the super stressful times and just recalls the good times with good friends and the feelings of learning and growing as a person.
Oh, and Jack Hanna is coming to my alma mater this weekend, and I’m jealous he never came when I was there. :)
So, why am I talking about college? Well, it’s not a huge deal, but I think it is worth a mention for writers doing research and developing characters. And I only bring it up because I’ve noticed it a few times now in recent manuscripts: Apparently it’s easy to mention a real school or program of study as a bit of background information on a character without doing some quick research on it. In content reviews, I’ve found myself questioning things like whether or not a character could have actually gotten the degree she has at the real college we learn she went to. Because with my quick look on the school website, it doesn’t seem so. Or maybe the degree and college match up, but from the rest of what we know about a character, it doesn’t seem likely she has that degree. Sure we’re working on fiction, and yet we want to be realistic and get our facts straight and keep our characters consistent, too.
I realize this post is rather boring, but that’s my friendly reminder about the importance of research and fact checking. :) The little details matter, and many readers do notice.
And now, we need to liven things up a bit. If you have one, tell us about a favorite college memory. One of my funniest involves a metal coat hanger, a vending machine, and a Honey Bun at about 1AM in the laundry room of Willetts Hall, but you really had to be there…. I don’t have a picture of that, but the one I’ve posted is of another fond memory. Hallway soccer in the dorm.